This age-old question is finally answered by science. (Photo: Getty Images)
Why do some people first age with “11” lines between the eyebrows, while others see crow’s feet around the eyes, and yet others seem immune to wrinkling at all? A new study says it’s because an old wive’s tale has turned out to be true.
Published in Clinical Anatomy this month, the study from Japan examined wrinkles found on foreheads and eye areas in cadavers between the ages of 20 and 90 that were donated for medical education. The amount of sebaceous glands, which secrete oil, were studied in the wrinkled areas, as well as the depth and amount of wrinkles. There was a consistent relationship between the two.
“You’ve probably heard it said that people with oilier skin age better and don’t wrinkle as much,” says New York City dermatologist, Paul Jarrod Frank, MD. “This study found legitimacy behind that claim, since skin areas with more sebaceous glands wrinkled less in the findings,” he explains to Yahoo Health.
But if you’ve always had dry skin, don’t throw in the towel – Frank says that aging in the forehead and eye areas are also highly affected by muscles that express emotion. How a particular person smiles and frowns, or shows anger in the face, can greatly contribute to the formation and severity of lines.
“I do agree it’s likely that the number and density of oil-producing sebaceous glands in skin correlate with shallower wrinkles,” says Frank. “But I think the study is very flawed in the sense that it only examines one small part of the bigger picture,” he adds.
Popular beauty oils like Suki Balancing Facial Oil and Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil have seen a boon in sales lately, as more consumers grow receptive to the idea that applying oils to the face is beneficial – a notion that has long been espoused in eastern Asian countries.
When it comes to the oil that skin produces, experts aren’t sure if it’s the extra hydration that helps prevent wrinkles, or if the oil serves some kind of physical protective barrier function to negate harmful sun rays and other damaging environmental factors, says Frank.
Either way, it looks like it’s time to put down the blotting papers and embrace some shine.